At a recent meeting held at Madrid, to consider the celebration of the four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, a grand committee was elected which will act in concert with the Spanish Government, and a committee previously appointed, and presided over by the Duke of Veragua, a lineal descendant of Columbus, and the present Minister of Public Works. It is proposed that the centenary shall be celebrated, if possible, at Madrid. Genoa is also making preparations to celebrate the same event.
The annual address of Mr. Charles F. Cox, as President of the New York Microscopical Society, is published in the Journal of the Society for April, 1890. The subject is Protoplasm and the Cell Doctrine, and the essay is a historical account of the development of scientific views in this field.
A bill has been introduced by Sir Henry Roscoe in the British House of Commons authorizing the Board of Managers of any public elementary school to provide technical instruction for its pupils at any suitable place, attendance at which shall be deemed to be attendance at the public elementary school.
The influence of ground-water and shallow wells in relation to public health is discussed in a recent paper by Dr. W. B. Featherstone. A considerable number of diseases are shown to be associated with defects in ground-water and its impurities, as well as of shallow well water; but the exact amount of influence exercised by these properties on the production and spread of disease has yet to be measured.
Wood-stone is the name of a new compound material composed of sawdust and calcined magnesia. The mixture, having been well worked up with water, is put into molds and pressed into whatever shape may be desired. It is incombustible and impermeable to water, is susceptible of a fine polish, and is adaptable to numerous uses.
Dr. Herman Shultz, Director of the Observatory and Professor of Astronomy at Upsala from 1878 to 1888, died in Stockholm May 8th. Of his numerous astronomical publications, the best known is Micrometrical Observations on five hundred nebulæ, which was published in England in 1874.
Prof. W. K. Sullivan, President of Queen's College, Cork, well known as a chemist, died May 12th, aged sixty-eight years. He succeeded Sir Robert Kane to the presidency of the college in 1872.
Mr. John Gunn, of Norwich, an English geologist of local reputation, died during the last week in May, in his eighty-ninth year. He was regarded as the chief authority on the formation known as the Cromer Forest Bed, and a most indefatigable and successful collector of its organic contents, and had an extensive knowledge of all the geological formations of East Anglia. He was also interested in antiquarian research. He made a fine collection of fossils illustrating especially the Pliocene mammalian life of England, and presented it to the Norfolk and Norwich Museum, where it occupies the "Gunn Room."
Mr. W. S. Dallas, Assistant Secretary, etc., to the Geological Society of London, and editor of its Quarterly Journal, died May 28th, aged sixty-six years. In early life he became interested in zoölogy, more particularly in the study of insects, relative to which he published many papers in the Transactions of the Entomological Society. In 1851-'52 he published a catalogue of the hemipterous insects in the British Museum, and in 1856 a Natural History of the Animal Kingdom. His later labors were in the direction of scientific literature rather than of original research—of translating, editing, etc.
The death is announced of Dr. F. , Director of the Botanical Station at Samarang, in Java. He was conspicuous in the field of applied botany.
Dr. Karl Jacob Loenig, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Breslau, and author of several eminent works on chemistry, died March 27th, in his eighty-eighth year.
Victor, Ritter von Zepharovich, Professor of Mineralogy at the German University of Prague, died February 24th. He was author of the Mineralogical Dictionary of the Austrian Empire, and of many valuable mineralogical and crystallographical works. He was fifty-nine years of age.
Dr. Karl Emil von Schafhäutl, Professor of Geology, Mining, and Metallurgy in the University of Munich, died in February last, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. He was an eminent physicist and geologist, and a theoretical musician of some note, and was keeper of the geognostic collection of the Bavarian state, and a member of the Academy of Sciences.
The death is announced of M. Soret, an eminent chemist and physicist, of Geneva, Switzerland. He was associated with Regnault in his researches on vapors and determinations of the specific heats of the gases. He afterward published in Switzerland a work on the density of ozone, and investigated the rotatory polarization of quartz. Another of his publications relates to the cause of the blue coloration of the Lake of Geneva.